Just three years ago, Sunderland Ladies finished fourth in WSL1 while Middlesbrough Ladies won Northern Division One of the Women’s Premier League (the fourth tier). Although Middlesbrough were definitely on the up, I would never have thought that Sunderland and Middlesbrough would be playing in the same tier come 2018. Although it’s not much closer, Middlesbrough Women’s move to Billingham Town will probably mean that I’ll get to a few more of their games in the coming season. I only visited them twice when they were playing at Thornaby and neither of those visits were a league game. Now that the season is underway, Sunderland Ladies are looking sharper than they did against Fylde and I believe they should be up there competing at the end of the season. This coming Sunday, Durham Women are at home at 12 and then Sunderland Ladies are at home at 2. Hopefully, I’ll get to both with a mad rush between the two of them!
Ramshaw brace helps Sunderland Ladies to Wear-Tees derby victory
A Keira Ramshaw brace helped Sunderland Ladies to a 3-1 win at home to Middlesbrough Women on Thursday night.
Ramshaw put the Lady Black Cats ahead just before the break, and her strike alongside a Bridget Galloway strike put Sunderland in control.
Eleanor Dale pulled one back for the visitors late on, but it wasn’t enough as Sunderland claimed the points.
Upon kick-off, it was Sunderland who created the first half chance. Katie Barker picked out Georgia Gibson on the edge of the penalty area, but her effort proved an easy take for Laura Wareham.
Wareham saved a Galloway effort soon after, before the Black Cats were caught offside numerous times.
Just before the quarter of an hour mark, Emily Scarr registered Middlesbrough’s first shot. Her curling effort was destined for the corner, but a good Sophy Stonehouse save prevented the winger.
As the game opened up, Mollie Lambert teed up Barker for the hosts. Her effort was saved, and Galloway’s rebound was deflected behind.
Gibson and Lambert both had further efforts blocked, before former Sunderland winger Emma Kelly went close for Boro.
Kelly, playing in a central position in front of the defence, took aim from long-range but her effort curled narrowly wide.
Sunderland’s breakthrough came in the second minute of additional time. Lambert was fouled in a dangerous position and Ramshaw took responsibility. Her direct effort took a slight deflection, and that helped it loop into the top corner to put the Black Cats ahead.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Sunderland’s lead was doubled. Galloway dispossessed Emma Foster in a dangerous position before bursting down on goal. The England youth international only had Wareham to beat and she did just that by tucking the ball into the net.
A superb 10 minutes saw Sunderland make it three-nil in the 55th minute. Wareham’s clearance didn’t get the desired distance, and Ramshaw’s first time lob perfectly planted itself into the top corner to extend Sunderland’s lead.
An injury to Becky Bass slowed the game down, but on the restart, Middlesbrough did create a couple of chances. Scarr had an effort saved by Stonehouse, before a more impressive save prevented Eve Marshall in the 73rd minute.
Galloway teed up Jordan Atkinson as Sunderland looked for a fourth, but the former Durham winger failed to find the target.
Kelly went close for Boro inside the final seven minutes, before they did pull one back in the 87th minute. A deep ball was headed down to Dale, and her cushioned first time effort picked out the bottom corner.
Despite late pressure from Middlesbrough, it was comfortable for Sunderland who climb to fourth in the league.
Full-time: Sunderland Ladies 3-1 Middlesbrough Women
Next up for me is Seaton Carew vs Jarrow FC Reserves on Saturday.
Sunderland Ladies: Stonehouse, Brown, McCatty, Griffiths, Mullen, Ramshaw (c), Young, Lambert, Gibson (Atkinson, 73′), Barker (Hutchinson, 73′), Galloway
Middlesbrough Women: Wareham, Brown (Birtwhistle, 55′), Hutchinson, Cramer (Dale, 55′), Foster, Watt, Bass (Marshall, 66′), Dobson, Manders, Kelly (c), Scarr
Unused subs: Trainer, Luke
Attendance: About 200
Programme: Don’t think so
Referee: Lucy Oliver
Bottle of water: 90p